Disclaimer: The Equalizer and all its characters are property of Universal and are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Time Present: Time Past: Time Future I

Scott looked to his left and noticed that his father was smiling as he drove him to his apartment. It wasn't often that his dad smiled in his company and Scott felt another wave of happiness wash over him. This had to be the most remarkable day of his entire life.

He had started out - when was it? Yeah, only yesterday morning - to pick up the gift that Mr. Ross at the music store had found for him. Before he realized what was happening, he had gotten caught up in a kidnapping.

Mr. Ross, who was an old friend of his dad's, had been wounded and both he and Scott had ended up as prisoners in the Bulgarian embassy.

Scott was really pleased that he had been able to escape on his own and had not waited for his dad or Control to pull diplomatic strings to get him released. He had been able to show them all that he wasn't a screw up or a spoiled kid. He proved to them all that he was a brave and resourceful man.

Scott smiled to himself again; everyone had been amazed when he insisted that he wanted to go back into the embassy to help free Mr. Ross. In order to do it, he had trained with hardened Company agents, Mickey Kostmayer amongst them, and he - the big nothing Scott McCall - had been the one in the right place to save the day after Brock had been shot by Yurgi. Everything would have been ruined if he hadn't grabbed the gun and killed the Bulgarian.

Yes, and to top it off his Mom had been there to see and hear the other men congratulate him on his accomplishment. A thrill ran up and down his spine as her remembered how Control himself had patted his arm and told him that he had done a good job.

Scott had never felt so alive and so much a part of his father's life. That was something he had yearned for, ever since his dad left him when he was eight years old.

The car stopped and Scott realized that they had reached his apartment house. He looked at his dad who was staring back at him; both of them seemed to be a little awed by the events of the day.

After the mission, they had made a short stop at his dad's apartment where they had changed out of the clothes they had worn for the raid on the embassy. Then the whole family, him, his mom and his dad had gone to a restaurant and eaten together for the first time in years. And for a change there hadn't been any simmering anger between his parents.

"That was a real nice dinner." Scott said.

"The meal was certainly pleasant," his father noted, beaming at his son for another few moments.

"Yeah, it was, and I think Mom had a good time too," Scott added.

"Scott," his father started in his 'I'm going to be serious' voice, "I want you to know that I am proud of you, very proud indeed. You deported yourself admirably."

He stopped and turned to Scott, "What I mean to say is..." He cleared his throat and in the dark car, Scott could just make out that his father's eyes were filled with tears, "What I mean to say Scott, is that... I love you boy, and if anything had happened to you today, I don't know what I would have done."

Scott blushed with pride and pleasure and happiness. Then his 'stiff upper lip' father reached over and hugged him - hard.

"I am proud of you boy," his dad whispered, his voice filled with emotion, "So very proud that you felt the need to see this whole terrible affair to a close in the best possible way." He stopped for a moment, "I don't mean to say that I think any less of the trauma that you must be going through and will go through for a while. Taking another man's life is the blackest thing imaginable; I know that. I have been through it myself, too many times."

Scott felt the weight of his father's heartfelt words.

"Take it easy for the next few days," his dad patted his shoulder, "And if you need me to talk you through this horrible killing, or if you need me for anything, I'm here for you."

Scott looked down at the floor of the car; the knowledge that he had killed someone didn't seem to be hitting him yet. He knew it would, it was a terrible thing to kill someone. All he could really think of now was that he was a hero; he had saved Mr. Ross and his dad. Scott felt as if the shooting had been the best experience of his life.

"Will you be all right Scott?"

Scott smiled shyly toward his dad. "I think I'll be fine. Really."

"Are you sure you don't want to stay at my place for a while?" His father's voice was concerned.

Scot saw that look of worry cross his dad's face again; the look that said that Scott wasn't hard enough, or man enough, to take what life had to deal out.

"No I'm fine," Scott hurried to reassure him, "Or I will be fine. I just need to get some sleep. I've had kind of a rough two days." Scott noted that the look of pride was on his dad's face as he smiled at him once again.

He opened the door of the car, got out and waved goodbye nonchalantly. He ran up the steps to his apartment and raced through the door and across the living room just in time to look out his window to see his father's car turn at the corner and pass from view.

 

Scott took a deep breath and noticed that the air smelled stale, as if the place had been abandoned for a long time. He switched on a light and opened the window all the way before turning around to look at his apartment.

Everything was just the way he left it yesterday morning. His keyboard and his music and electric guitar, all the things he loved were there. But it all seemed strange and a little boring to him. After everything that had happened to him over these past two days, he felt different. He realized that his apartment was the home of someone who no longer existed. He wasn't that same person anymore; the danger and the shooting had changed him and he was finding all the familiar things that he had once loved, that he hoped he still loved, a little nauseating.

Suddenly a thought hit him, and the more he thought about it the more he knew it was true. This was how his father must have felt every time he returned home after a dangerous and exciting mission. After surviving life threatening situations, relying on his wits, flying on pumping adrenaline, his dad would return to his home only to be greeted by the reality of his same old staid and boring life. Did his father look at his small son and his middle-class wife that way: boring and tired?

Scott shook his head sadly, no wonder his father had left the suffocating life they had all shared in Connecticut.

The phone began to ring, and without thinking Scott walked over and picked it up.

"Well it's about damn time that you picked up the goddamn phone!"

Scott recognized the voice shouting in his ear. It was Debbie Robinson, a friend of Zandili's, the woman he had been in love with and who he had lost.

After South Afrikaner agents had killed Zandi here in the city, Scott hadn't seen much of Debbie. He had been looking for his acoustic guitar when he remembered that Zandi had persuaded him to loan it to Debbie a while ago. He had left an urgent message on her answering machine early yesterday morning, saying that he needed it back.

"I've been trying to get a hold of you," Debbie's booming, deep voice blasted from the phone. "Look Scott I'm going away tomorrow morning - early - and if you want the guitar back you'd better pick it up tonight."

Scott was quiet; he didn't feel like facing Debbie today. She had always treated him as Zandi's weak-willed, white boyfriend. She had never approved of him or the relationship.

Debbie's voice sounded even more unpleasant than usual. "Look, I called and called, left a million messages for you and you didn't even have the decency to call me back. If you can't pick your guitar up tonight, I'll be back in the city in two weeks. I don't have anymore time to waste on you."

The old Scott would have taken offense at the tone and the disgust in her voice. The old Scott would have yelled back at Debbie, but after everything that he had been through, he couldn't be bothered with petty arguing. He needed his acoustic guitar for a gig next week. It was that simple.

"It's only 11:00 now Deb," he said into the phone, "I'll hop on the subway and I should be by your place in a half hour or so. Is that all right?"

"Fine," she said grudgingly, "but I won't wait up all night for you to show up. If you're not here by midnight, you'll just have to wait till I get back."

Scott could picture her in her livingroom, right now. He had been at Debbie's apartment with Zandili quite a few times, waiting for her to get off the phone after arguing with any one of her fifty boyfriends. She was probably standing, one fist leaning on her wide hips, her weight leaning on one leg and her chin stuck out with a challenging expression on her face.

Even though Debbie was American born and Zandili was from Africa, Debbie was three times darker than Zandi had been. Debbie also had the features of a full African while Zandi had small features and had dyed her hair blonde - but the two women had shared the same worldview.

In truth he had always felt a little overwhelmed by Debbie. Scott was attracted to small, petite women who looked up to his six-foot two height and needed him to help and support them. Small, dainty women had always made Scott feel most like a man.

Debbie was a large woman, five foot ten at least. She was powerfully built with wide hips and shoulders and huge pillowy breasts. She was outspoken and able to take care of herself and Scott couldn't understand how she attracted as many boyfriends as she did. She wasn't his type at all.

"I'll leave my house as soon as I change Deb, I should be at your door in about..." He glanced at his watch, " twenty-five minutes. Is that okay?"

"Like I said Scottie," Debbie called him the diminutive Scottie, even though she knew he hated it. "If you're not here by midnight -- tough shit. Is that OK Scottie?" Her voice was mocking. As usual.

"Right." Scott hung the phone up and got ready to go. It was midwinter and cold as hell out, so he put his hooded sweatshirt on under his short leather jacket. He checked his pockets for tokens for the subway, so he wouldn't have to stop to buy them. He ran out of the apartment.

His watch said it was 11:22 when Scott knocked on Debbie's door. Everything had gone his way. The right train was there and waiting when he had run down the subway stairs. He had sprinted the three blocks to Debbie's building very easily and was hardly winded at all. Scott guessed the twelve hours of commando training he had gone through in order to break into the embassy must have helped him run faster tonight. He was feeling strong and fast and damn good.

He had to wait for about forty seconds before Debbie finally answered the door. She glanced at Scott in a perfunctory manner and turned and walked away as he entered the room.

It was too bright for his eyes after the darkness of the street and Scott blinked a few times. He didn't realize that he was staring at Debbie as she walked from the living room towards the bedroom. She was wearing just a thin nightshirt and as she sauntered away, Scott admired the way the light blue material clung to her high and large haunches. Scott suddenly thought of the expression, "When she walked, her ass looked like two cats fighting in a bag." That's exactly what her buttocks looked like. He had to stop himself from snorting a laugh.

Debbie did her usual bored, over the shoulder, muttering to Scott. "Your guitar's right here."

She bent over a little to pick up the large, old-fashioned, heavy guitar case and her nightshirt rode up a bit. Scott found that couldn't take his eyes off her behind or the few inches of inner thigh that had been exposed by the hem of the nightie. He immediately realized that he was fully aroused and straining against the material of his jeans.

Debbie turned around to face him and stood the large box down in front of her, leaning the neck of the case against her chest. She glared at him, "You know, I should have let you go without the guitar. I called you for two full days and it was damn rude of you not to have returned any of my messages."

Scott felt himself become even warmer as he looked at the thin cloth of her nightshirt as it pressed against her. He had never fully appreciated the fullness of her breasts before.

He had never been much interested in busty women. Zandi had been small and his other longtime girlfriend, Jenny, had been small too. But he felt blood pumping to his groin as he looked at Debbie standing angry and challenging in front of him now.

She wasn't wearing a bra and her ample breasts were moving with her every breath. Her nipples were very low and Scott was amazed to see that they had to be the size of the tips of his pinkies. They seemed to be jutting out and stretching the material with a strength of their own. Scott couldn't take his eyes off them and his mouth was suddenly dry as he licked his lips.

After a while he realized that Debbie had stopped ranting. Scott tore his eyes away from her breasts and focused on her face.

She had on a disgusted, angry look and was glaring at him. "What you looking at boy?" she sneered at him.

Scott was surprised that he didn't feel uncomfortable. He remembered what he had gone through over the past two days. Mostly he remembered the look on Yurgi's face as he realized that Scott had shot him.

He was calm and sure of himself, not afraid of anything anymore. "I'm looking at a woman who wants a man tonight," Scott said slowly, looking steadily into her deep brown eyes.

Her face broke into a scornful grin. "Even if that's true, why'd you think I'd have any doings with you - boy?"

He looked at her appraisingly and spoke in a voice thick and deep with desire. "Because you knew I was coming over, and you made sure that I saw you like that," he pointed his chin at her, "half undressed and ready to be fucked."

The smug smile fell from her face as she stepped forward and shoved the heavy guitar case at him. "It certainly looks like you developed some hair on your balls Scottie. But you don't know a damn thing," she sneered, "Now get the hell outta my place."

Scott pushed the case aside and grabbed Debbie. It took a lot of energy to subdue her. She was strong and fought him silently, making sure that she gave as good as she got. She had a smug, self satisfied smile on her face that only fueled Scott's determination to overpower and take her, using as much violence as he needed.

Finally pinning her down, Scott pulled the nightshirt from her abundant body. He was frantically trying to pull open his zipper when Debbie laughed out loud in delight. Panting hard, she reached out her hand, opened his jeans and slid them down, freeing him.

He forced her legs open, she was so wet and ready for him that he slid into her quickly, pounding his hips against her, screwing like a rutting animal, until the grunts and moans of their combined pleasure were the only sounds in the brightly lit room.

 

It was one o'clock when Scott walked away from Debbie's apartment house. He had left her satiated and exhausted. As he got dressed to leave, she had purred like a massive panther and rubbed herself all over his body, begging him to please come to her again when she got back to the city. Scott had agreed.

He had always treated his girlfriends gently and cautiously; he knew he was a big guy and he never wanted to hurt them, but Debbie could take all the violent screwing he could manage. He had used muscles everywhere on his body, to thoroughly work over that female tonight.

What did she say again? "The bigger the cushion, the better the pushin." Yeah, Scott chuckled, that was certainly true with Debbie.

It was bitterly cold on the dark and deserted streets of the Village. Scott shifted the large heavy guitar case to his left hand and lifted up the hood of his sweatshirt to cover his head. He broke into a jog, heading toward the subway down a dark, lonely side street, not paying any attention to his surroundings. His thoughts were all wrapped up in how good he felt. Today, he had fought and killed and screwed like a real man for the first time in his life. He was strong, he was powerful, and damn, did he feel good.

He was heading for a final turn around an unlit corner when a dark shape barred his way. Scott almost crashed into the figure but he managed to stop just before they would have collided.

"Give up your money man!" Scott heard from the guy in front of him. A second man appeared out of nowhere and an arm was wrapped tightly around Scott's neck.

"Gimme the money or I'll cut you!" the first one repeated, waving a knife under Scott's nose.

Although Scott could hardly make him out in the dark, there was enough light from the next block for Scott to see that he was about twenty, thin and constantly moving, like so many junkies do. The knife he held was catching the light, glinting evilly at Scott.

The reality of the situation washed over him, he was being mugged! After everything he had gone through at the embassy he was going to wind up as a victim and a loser again.

He looked at the smirking grin on the junky in front of him. He heard an excited laugh rumble in the chest of the one behind him who was tightly gripping him. Suddenly, Scott was madder than he had ever been. No Goddamn it! He wasn't going to be a victim.

Remembering some of the hand-to-hand combat moves that Mickey Kostmayer had pounded into his skull in preparation for the raid on the Bulgarian Embassy, Scott, smoothly, surely and silently pivoted on the balls of his feet while he held on to the arm that had him from behind. He tilted his hip and, using the momentum, threw the rear attacker over his shoulder. He had aimed it so that the guy would fall on the punk holding the knife in front of him. In the split second before the knife wielding thug in front realized what was happening Scott saw that the one he flipped into the air had landed right on top of the knife.

Both of the attackers sprawled to the ground. Using the reflex actions ground into him by his Company training, Scott reached for the heavy, metal cornered guitar case and slammed it on the first head he saw. Immediately Scott raised the case again and brought it down as hard as he could.

Somewhere from the recesses of his memory he recalled what he had been taught only the night before. The best and cleanest way to permanently put out an opponent is to force the bones of the nose up into the brain. Taking only one small step to the side, Scott positioned himself correctly and brought the heavy case down at an angle. Satisfied that the now flattened face on the ground was that of a dead man. Scott kicked the other gurgling, unconscious man onto his back and repeated the movement until the man stopped making any sounds.

He was alone with the two men he had killed lying at his feet.

In the dull light of a distant street lamp, he was just able to make out the two, now flat faces of the incompetent muggers. Scott saw what he had done, and the brutality of what he had been forced to do. He had just killed two men.

He felt GOOD.

Suddenly, he felt like howling with blood lust, filled with the joy of victory and the satisfaction that he was stronger than the men who had dared to challenge him. His blood was pounding in his ears, and in his groin. He felt so ALIVE!

Did it always feel like this, Scott laughed, this glorious feeling of power when you made the choice of life or death for another human being?

The sound of a siren brought Scott back to his senses. He listened intently and heard it pass by a few blocks away. Relieved, he decided to move.

As he walked, he dragged his sneakers over the dark concrete, scouring the bottoms, trying to wipe off any blood that he might have stepped in. Scott took the darkest streets and stayed well out of sight of any of the few passing cars in this part of the Village.

After a few blocks, he ducked into an empty doorway and checked the quiet, deserted street. There were no lit windows around; there was no sound of people at all. He tied the sweatshirt's hood even farther down over his face and ran the next two blocks to another subway station, where he used one of his tokens to get through the turnstile and down onto an uptown train, unnoticed.

 

Scott looked at his watch; he was ready to go. It was a little before six and he had finished stuffing plastic bags with every bit of evidence of his actions. He had stripped the moment he had entered his apartment, and naked with bare feet, he had gone into the bathroom.

Over the next hours, using a sharp utility knife, he had sliced the sneakers and his clothing up into small thin shreds. Then, he had painstakingly unscrewed the leather covered guitar case, taking it apart and breaking it up into pieces. Although there didn't appear to be any blood anywhere, Scott didn't want to take any chances. He was sorry to lose his leather jacket, but he now prided himself on being a cool, dispassionate, competent warrior.

Clutching the bags, he headed for his Volkswagen where he put them into the trunk, readying them for the ride to their ultimate resting place in dumps all over the tri-state area.

Scott looked around him at the dawn that was just starting to light the dark city streets. He got into his car and looked at his own reflection as he adjusted the rearview mirror.

He grinned at himself. Yes he did look different. He was stronger, smarter and tougher, more like what Robert McCall's son should be. He was a man with three kills under his belt.

He turned the key in the ignition and started to drive. He had a whole new life ahead of him now to experience. This was just the beginning...

 

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